Moving To Saudi Arabia

Located in West Asia, the Gulf State of Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the western part of Asia and second largest in the Arab Peninsula. The country is globally known for its rich cultural heritage, vast desert landscapes, and oil reserves. As the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia holds great religious significance for Muslims around the world and attracts millions of pilgrims each year to its holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Moving to Saudi Arabia from USA

The country has made significant progress in recent years in terms of economic diversification and social reforms. Saudi Arabia aims to reduce its dependency on oil and develop other sectors such as tourism, entertainment, and technology. The country is also implementing a series of reforms to increase women’s rights and improve their participation in various fields. If your plan is to make an international relocation to Saudi Arabia from the USA then there are a number of processes you need to families yourself with.

In the next few paragraphs let us run you through the most important information that can assist you in your move to Saudi Arabia from the USA.

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to Saudi Arabia

When you are planning for an international relocation and want to move to Saudi Arabia from the USA for a longer time period than a vacation, there are many things you need to pay attention to. International moving involves not only obtaining proper approvals and documents but also moving your household goods when you are transporting those to Saudi Arabia, post-move legal processes to follow and also settling down in a new geography altogether!

It may create a lot of confusion when you start taking up the steps for your international relocation. There are also mandatory relocation aspects concerning packing of your household goods, their shipping cost, time and safety. At International Sea & Air Shipping we provide end to end specialized services for all types of moving to Saudi Arabia from the USA. Engaging us will ensure you get a hassle-free relocation experience.

At International Sea & Air Shipping we understand how complicated an international move can be. That is why we employ highly experienced, insured professionals who will handle your relocation to Saudi Arabia from the USA for you, while you can relax and enjoy moving to a new country.

About Saudi Arabia

Also known as The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the country is the world’s 14th largest, but one of the most sparsely populated in the world. Founded in 1932 by Abdu-Aziz bin Saud, Saudi Arabia is commonly called “The Land of the Two Holy Mosques.” The country is home to Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam.

Saudi Arabia is the third largest country in the Middle East, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia’s bordering nations are Iraq, JordanKuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Yemen. It is the only country with both a Red Sea and a Persian Gulf coast.

The country is home to the world’s largest oil reserves and is the largest oil exporter in the world. Saudi Arabia’s export and import partners are: Japan, South Korea, USA, China, IndiaTaiwanSingapore, Germany, UK and France.

Customs Regulations for Saudi Arabia

All documents show customers name exactly as it appears on passport. Do not use initials or abbreviations for companies (Saudi Government will not accept these documents)

  • Passport (copy) with entry visa
  • Residence Permit
  • Work Permit
  • Proof of Employment legalized by Saudi Chamber of Commerce or a Saudi Government Agency
  • Certificate of Health, stating customer does not have AIDS
  • Inventory (original) with description of contents of cartons-PBO (packed by owner), CU (contents unknown) and MISC (miscellaneous) are not acceptable (MUST be legalized by the Saudi Embassy or Consulate and translated into Arabic)
  • Purchase receipts for major household good items
  • Certificate of Origin (for new items), itemized, with price for each article (MUST be legalized by the Saudi Embassy or Consulate and translated into Arabic)
  • Original valued inventory for Customs purposes
  • Keys for any locked items for Customs inspection
  • Certificate of Insurance, if applicable
  • SASO Certificate of Conformity for all electrical items imported into the country
  • Letter of Undertaking authorizing destination agent to perform Customs clearance

Documents for surface shipments must be received at destination a minimum of seven days prior to arrival of vessel

  • Customer must be in Saudi Arabia at time of Customs clearance
  • Import of consolidation or groupage shipments are not allowed, heavy penalties will be imposed for violations
  • All shipments are inspected and subject to duty, including used household goods and personal effects
  • Shipments are valued locally and rates vary depending on the item
  • Containers and trailers must have a comprehensive packing list of all contents (in a water-proof envelope) taped to the rear door with customer’s full name and address (Failure to comply will result in heavy fines)
  • Shipments arriving in Saudi Arabia without a comprehensive packing list are subject to unloading and full tally at port of discharge
  • “Make Mark” information: all goods imported into the country must show the country of origin, such as “made in USA” or “made in Japan” (This mark must tally with the legalized documents presented to Customs for clearance)

Failure to comply with these regulations will prohibit goods entry into Saudi Arabia


  • Alcohol and any items containing alcohol, such as: flavoring extracts, cooking wines, and wine making kits
  • Books on manufacturing alcoholic drinks or any foods with alcohol
  • Narcotics
  • Radio transmitter/communication equipment (including walkie-talkies, short-wave, VHF, marine, police band equipment, etc.)
  • Binoculars or telescopic equipment
  • Statues, figurines, or carvings
  • Games of chance (chess, dice, backgammon)
  • All weapons and firearms (real or ornamental), including guns, ammunition, fireworks, spears and other edged weapons (owner will be subject to investigation, fines, and/or imprisonment)
  • Pornographic material and literature (including fashion magazines with people wearing undergarments or swimsuits)
  • Politically sensitive materials
  • Foodstuffs
  • Stuffed animals
  • Articles contrary to Muslim or Saudi Arabian moral beliefs
  • Christmas trees/decorations, bibles or any other items associated with religions other than the Muslim faith
  • Military uniforms or equipment
  • Medicines (must be accompanied by doctors prescription and for personal use only)
  • All printed materials, books, pictures, records, films, tapes, slides, movies, videos, CDs, DVDs, computer software, etc. are subject to censorship and confiscation (these items should be packed separately for easy access and clearly marked on your inventory)
    • These items will be removed from all incoming shipments at the time of Customs clearance and sent to the Ministry of Information for review
    • Once censorship has been completed, a separate delivery will be made at an additional charge to the customer
    • Any restricted or prohibited items in shipment will cause delays, may be subject to confiscation and may cause possible fines or penalties to customer’s account


  • Shipments with vehicles in containers are not allowed in Saudi Arabia
  • Shipper’s name must match on all documents (such as passport, shipping documents and vehicle ownership)
  • One car is allowed per family and must be in accordance with Saudi Arabian standards
  • Vehicles with the model year 1974 or older cannot be imported
  • The following information must be furnished to the steamship company for all vehicles shipped to Saudi Arabia:
    • make, model, year, color, engine and chassis number, license and serial number, weight, dimensions of auto with bumpers, owners address at origin, date car was last registered in origin country, customer’s destination address, including phone contact overseas
  • Vehicle must be registered as soon after clearance as possible
  • Documents required:
    • Proof of Ownership (Title)
    • SASO Certificate
    • Legalized Purchase Invoice and Certificate of Origin
    • Proof of insurance
    • For used cars, Certificate from Interpol, or origin traffic police, showing there is no police case against car
    • Copy of Passport and Residence Permit (IQAMA)
    • Letter of Saudi sponsor
    • Letter of Authorization from consignee to clear car
    • Customs Fee Declaration
    • Landing Authorization
    • Valid Saudi driver’s license required for registration

When importing a petto Russia, they will need to have the following documentation:

  • Vaccination records
  • Veterinary health certificate bearing a seal of the local Board of Health (issued no more than 10 days prior to arrival)
  • Import license
  • Identification (tattoo or microchip)
  • Animals other than dogs and cats require special import permission from the Ministry of Agriculture


NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International Sea & Air Shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Call our International Moving Specialists @ 1 (866) 315-4170

A Moving to Saudi Arabia from the USA

Moving to Saudi Arabia from the USA is a significant change that requires careful planning and preparation. Considerations such as visa requirements, cultural differences, and lifestyle adjustments should be taken into account before making the move.

First and foremost, it is essential to research and understand the visa requirements for living and working in Saudi Arabia. Depending on the purpose of your move, you may need to apply for a work visa, residency permit, or sponsorship from an employer.

Cultural differences between Saudi Arabia and the USA are significant, and it is important to familiarize yourself with Saudi customs, traditions, and social norms. Respect for Islamic traditions, dress code, and gender segregation are essential aspects to be aware of.

Documents required for relocation to Saudi Arabia from USA

Now that you have started taking steps to materialize your international relocation to Saudi Arabia from the USA, here is the major information regarding documentation and visa processes that you need to know of.

When you apply online for a Saudi visa, then it is a multiple-entry visa from the USA that will allow you for multiple stays, gathering up to 90 days in this Gulf country. However, if your stay will be longer than 90 days then you need to consider the following residency permits –

  • Permanent residency permit
  • Renewable temporary residency permit

The application for both of these residency permits are submitted together with several other documents. If you want to move to Saudi Arabia from the USA and stay there for work purposes then you need to obtain the proper work visa. Now here is what you need to do –

Work Visa

First and foremost to move to Saudi Arabia from the USA on work purpose you need to secure a job in the Gulf country with a Saudi employer. Your employer then has to sponsor your work visa and they will apply for this visa on your behalf. Once the application for the work visa is submitted be noted that the processing time can vary. It may even take up several weeks to finalize. Meanwhile, you can gather other supporting documents that will be required.

However, even before you apply for a job in Saudi Arabia know that the Government there has restricted appointing foreign nationals in some fields to reduce the unemployment rate in the country. Also, knowing beforehand about the working hours and work culture will prepare you mentally.

Study Visa

If you want to move to Saudi Arabia from the USA for study purpose you can apply for a student visa. This will enable you to live and stay in Saudi Arabia for more than 90 days.

The process for obtaining a student visa to move to Saudi Arabia from the USA is to first apply and get accepted into an educational institution in Saudi. After this the next step will involve the educational institution to apply for the Student visa on your behalf. This application has to be submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia. Once the application is accepted, processed and approved, then you can relocate to Saudi Arabia from the USA.

Please note: Unlike many other countries, Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a retirement visa or visa for digital nomads.

Things to consider when you move to Saudi Arabia from the USA

Making a checklist for your international move to Saudi Arabia from the USA is a must! This will not only give you insight into things to line up before the move but will also prepare you for the things you need to get in order once you make the international relocation.

Here is a list that you can consider –

Pre move

Apply for a visa: Familiarize yourself with the different visa and residency options and the related documents.

Pack your belongings appropriately: Get yourself ready for the cultural and climate differences and pack accordingly.

Familiarize yourself and your family (if they are moving with you) with the new culture: When you are moving to Saudi Arabia from the USA due to the distinct cultural differences you need to familiarize yourself with this before the move.

Post move

Research on the cost of living in Saudi: This is the first thing you need to do to choose a location in this Gulf country.

Start the house-hunting: Start looking for a house in the areas you have finalized and choose one as per your budget.

Plan for healthcare services: This is the most important aspect after your international move – choose good healthcare coverage.

Consider transportation: Another important thing to do after you move is to figure out your regular transportation.

Once you have sorted out all these, get ready to gradually settle down in this great Gulf country.